Do you Remember These Defunct Restaurant Chains?

By  | 


Over the past several years, the restaurant franchise was a successful business that blended into the American consumer culture and became part of it. However, despite its popularity, several restaurant chains did not stay long into the 21 century.

Here are examples of restaurant chains that were once famous but plummeted down to earth years later. Some of the restaurant chains were as very popular and had nostalgic favorites for a majority of people.

Hope the slideshow takes you back to the good old days and lovely food memories you had in the defunct restaurants.

1.    Howard Johnson’s

For the past 50 years and above, Howard Johnson has been a familiar restaurant site for most Americans. It became famous for their finger-licking fried clams served in strip form. It also had terrific hot dogs grilled with butter. It is a shame that it is no longer open.

2.    Sambo’s

The opening of the first sambo’s restraint was in 1957, by its owners Newell and Sam. Despite its popularity, the restaurant chain was full of controversy. It was famous for its astounding pancakes. Unfortunately, the company was forced to close all its 1000 chains in the 80’s. Its closure saw the loss of a valuable restaurant chain in the American fast-food industry.

3.    Kenny Roger’s Roasters

1990 was the year that saw the launch of the Kenny Roger’s Roaster. It was because of a partnership between the famous country singer Kenny Rogers and John Brown. Despite the popularity of its food, the restaurant was not able to break through despite the success of its owner Kenny Roger.

4. Minnie Pearl’s Chicken

The Minnie Pearl’s Chicken came into conception as a partnership by country singer Pearl and John Hooker. The restaurant had 500 chains but lost its popularity due to lack of appropriate meals. This issue saw the franchise slowly fall apart within years.

5.The All- American Burger

The All-American burger was a regional fast-food joint famous for its feature in the 1980’s film Fast time. The fast-food joint was famous for its famous burgers just like its name. However, with its fame, the joint saw its closure in the year 2010.

6. White Tower

When we talk about hamburger history, we cannot fail to mention the white tower restaurants. Opened in the year 1921 and it grew its fame over the years as one of the most popular fast food chain. The death of the white Tower food chain was due to legal actions.

7.    Chi-Chi’s

Chi-Chi’s popularity came from the Mexican dishes they helped deliver to plenty of American homes. Launched in the 1970’s, its fame grew over the years. However, with growth in popularity, Chi-Chi’s began to die. Its death finally came in 2013 with a hepatitis breakout that killed three customers.

8.    Lum’s

The one thing to miss about Lum’s is their classic and unique hot dogs steamed in beer now that were quite a treat. Their hot dogs made them so famous that they opened over 400 food chains. The last operational year for Lum’s was 2009 where they sold their chain to KFC for $4 million.

9.    Steak and Ale

Steak and Ale were the first to introduce a new food concept of a salad bar and cheap stake. The idea was such a success that it led to the expansion of the Steak and Ale restaurant. However, its success was its downfall. Other restaurants took their concept and adapted to cause the eventual collapse of Steak and Ale.

10.    Valle’s Steak House

When you wanted a tasty lobster and steak, Valle’s steak house was the place to go. It was started from the year 1933 and continued until the millennium era. Its collapse came about due to the weakening economy.

11.    Gino’s Hamburgers

Hall of fame footballer Gino opened Gino’s hamburgers in 1957. It had over 300 locations, but it was sold in the year 1980’s. It was later turned to Roy Riders. In the year 2010, Gino came back to the business setup opening new Gino restaurants.

12.    Burger Chef

Burger chef was considered the ultimate McDonalds rival. They sold several fast-food favorites with accompaniments like Toys. Despite their success, bad practices led to its eventual collapse in 1981.

13.    Mr. Steak

It was a famous chain that offered steakhouses in the 70’s. However, with an increase in competition, their stakes no longer became popular, and it led to the eventual collapse of Mr. Steak. It folded after bankruptcy in the year 1987.

14.    Bob’s Big Boy

There iconic mascot and double-decker were their trademarks. They became a staple for a majority of American Highways. The Bob’s Big Boy still has 100 locations in the Midwest and California. Its mascot and burgers are still a favorite for fast-food lovers.

15.     Bennigan’s

Bennigan’s was among the first casino sports bar dining chains in America. Despite their unique innovation, they lagged behind when it came to introducing new concepts to the market. After its failure, the chain was sold a couple of times and finally declared bankrupt in 2008.

16.    Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse

The Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse was a fast-growing fast-food chain in the year 1980-1990. It went out of business for several reasons. However, Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse currently still has some franchise that is always open for the public to continue enjoying their tasty foods.

17.    Naugles

Ever since its inception in 1970, Naugles slowly rose for 25 years to become the most famous Mexican fast-food joint in 1998. The Naugles chain motto was to prepare fresh food for customers and serve them fast. It, however, closed its doors in 1995 and the year 2015, the restaurant was revived and is currently located in California.

18.     Druther’s

Druther’s was a famous restaurant chain that ran its operations in 1963-1981. It was based in Louisville, Kentucky. The fast-food joint was famous for fried chicken. It had a giant mascot in the form of a giant bee. The bee was named quinee. The enormous giant bee mascot was a favorite marketing tool to attract their kids to their services.